All the market crashing news this week has been drowned out by the buzz of Hollywood coming to town.

George Clooney is going to be filming some scenes for “Boys in the Boat” not far from where I live, on the stretch of water I row on.

It’s a perfect film for our times.

Set in the 30’s it’s about the Washington University crew who went to the 1936 Olympics in Munich as the Nazi war machine was gearing up.

The book talks of incredible hardships that the crew went through just to stay in college. From the lumber industry of Seattle to breaking rocks on the Hoover Dam.

It’s a reminder that as bad as things might be, we still live in luxury compared to less than a century ago.

The market crashing out this week has hit some people pretty badly, and the fact that this downturn has been a while coming means a lot of younger people won’t know how to tackle it.

But after 3 recessions, I’ve seen some patterns.

I’m not going to make an spectacular predictions but here’s a few things that helped me through 93, 01, and 08.

1. Add in a few cost saving messages to your value propositions. 

People aren’t as optimistic about upsides at the moment, they’re more interested in what they have and stopping more of it from slipping away.

2. Sharpen up your conversion skills

The brand marketers are going to get hammered. They always do in a downturn. This is the moment for people with good direct response skills who can create results measured in cash, not likes.

3. Focus on offers for essentials ahead of luxuries

The client who were most consistent for us after the 08 crash made hand dryers and soap dispensers for toilets. (Swine flu and COVID were kind to them as well.) Look at unsexy markets and see how you can work in an angle to turn day-to-day essentials into something novel.

4. Keep plugging away at your side-hustles

Business opportunities are going to be looked at with a lot more cynicism. When the people around you aren’t making bank, it’s harder to believe these things will work.

On the other hand, a lot of people are going to be looking for new income ideas as their money is worth less, and retirement is suddenly a few more years away.

5. Keep your eye out for opportunities

I’ve picked up good staff from bad businesses. I’ve picked up assets in places they weren’t being well used.

Just like rowing, it’s a reminder to stick to the fundamentals through the dark days. Work hard and be consistent and you’ll get to the gold in the end.